Apple recently filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to seek an injunction to stop the implementation of App Store changes ordered by Judge Rogers in the Epic Games case. Unless the Ninth Circuit grants a stay, the tech giant will have to allow app developers to show links to external payment platforms inside from December 9.
In a related legal filing, Apple indicates that it will continue to charge a commission on any transactions initiation from within the App Store, even though they are not using its In-App Purchase system.
Apple could charge developers for in-app purchases made outside the App Store
Apple currently charges a 15-30% commission on in-app purchases. And since the tech giant does not allow developers to offer alternate payment systems to users, all digital purchases must use its In-App Purchase system. However, in the case of Epic Games v. Apple, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued a decision barring Apple from forcing developers to use its In-App Purchase system.
In a court document, Apple stated it could charge a commission on purchases made through alternate methods. “That is not correct. Apple has not previously charged a commission on purchases of digital content via buttons and links because such purchases have not been permitted,” the brief reads. “If the injunction were to go into effect, Apple could charge a commission on purchases made through such mechanisms.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook had also said something to this effect back during the Epic Games v. Apple hearings. “We would have to come up with an alternate way of collecting our commission,” Cook said at the time. “We would then have to figure out how to track what’s going on and invoice it and then chase the developers; it seems like a process that doesn’t need to exist.”
What I’ve come to assume is now in black and white in this filing from Apple: If the injunction goes into effect, Apple seems likely to charge a commission on any transactions that start in the app, even if they are completed on the web. https://t.co/GVoEhiQbFS pic.twitter.com/uyXjAmM1uD
— David Barnard (@drbarnard) December 2, 2021
“Apple would have to create a system and process for doing so,” Apple said in its filing, adding that doing so would “impose irreparable injury” if it wins an appeal. Apple also says that “substantial engineering” would be necessary to allow linking to alternate payment systems. For those reasons, it is asking the appeals court to delay the federal judge’s order until the appeals process has concluded.